Mandela Piece the Puzzle Together Event

Mandela Month ‘Piece the puzzle together’ challenge – save the date

Mandela Piece the Puzzle Together Event

Put this date in your diary now – Thursday 13 July 2023 is a fun interactive way to spend your Mandela Minutes for a good cause at the Durban Child & Youth Care Centre (265 Lena Ahrens Road, Glenwood).

Twenty amazing teams will take on six awesome challenges, set by Beach & Bush Team Building. Teams of two are invited to enter at a cost of R1200 per team. Additional donations are welcome! All funds raised go towards providing nutritional meals for the children.

To register, please contact Nicolette on 031 201 1301 or email

“We can change the world and make it a better place. It is in your hands to make a difference.” – Nelson Mandela

Roof repair

While we pray for a miracle, repairs to the SAWAS roof get underway

Roof repair

As a non-profit organisation, our attention – and the bulk of available funds – is focused on meeting operational costs. First and foremost, we must ensure that the children in our care have all the basic necessities … food, clothing, education and shelter … as well as professional services to enable them to overcome their traumatic past, and catch up on developmental milestones missed through inadequate care or stimulation before they came to us.

However, the state of our ageing buildings is a huge cause for concern. For more than a century they’ve provided accommodation for children in need. Over the years, they’ve been adapted and upgraded as funds became available.

Repairs to the SAWAS House roof

This has been top of our ‘to do’ list for some years already, and we just can’t put it off any longer. Two building experts have confirmed that the roof needs critical and urgent repairs.

No stone has been left unturned in our efforts to secure a donor. But the high cost of the repairs to the SAWAS House roof – over a million rand – is just too great. So we began approaching potential donors personally with an appeal for partnership funding. We are pleased to confirm that we have managed to secure one part funding for this project. The Victor Daitz Foundation, a longstanding benefactor of ours, committed an amount of R 505 567 towards the work, leaving us with a balance of R 639 891 still needing to be found.

But we can’t delay any longer; the safety of our children and staff is a priority. So we are forging ahead with the roof repairs in the hope that the necessary funding will materialise in time. Work started officially on Tuesday, 14 February. As a last resort, the shortfall will have to come out of our operating budget.

If you are able to make a contribution, or know of anyone who could possibly support this project, please email Any support that would relieve some or all of the financial pressure will be appreciated beyond words.

Mandy Goble

Message from the Director – Mandy Goble

Mandy Goble

As I reflect on my ruminations from just a few weeks back, it dawns on me how much the time of day can affect the way we see a landscape.

When I last wrote, my work landscape was looking foreboding, dark with storm clouds on the horizon. Today those clouds have lifted.  Still there, but far enough away for light to filter through and touch every part of what lies before me. The Department of Social Development kept their word and affected NPOs all received the money due to them by 8 February.

Caring concerned people within our circle came forward to offer assistance in all shapes and sizes. We are so thankful! And I am personally grateful, your response filled my tank and as I look around, I see how everything within my vision is bathed in light.

But there was a brief moment earlier this year, shortly before I returned from leave, when I mused on the possibility of just not coming back to work. In all my 33 years of service to the Durban Child & Youth Care Centre, I have never felt like this before.

I came to the realisation that the state of our country as we ended 2022 had left me discouraged and frankly angry. Endlessly having to pursue and insist on access to basic rights as a citizen, in addition to the rights of the children in our care, had left me depleted.

NPOs across KZN were struggling with non-payment of subsidies from the Department of Social Development. Hard working, dedicated employees were not paid their salaries, services to the most vulnerable people in our province were disrupted. All at a time when access to water and electricity – basic rights for all human beings – is inconsistent!

And then I listened to our social worker describing the circumstances leading to the placement of the new children entering our home and was ashamed of my thoughts.

What would happen to these precious little souls if we were not here? We are their voice, their advocates, their safe place. We must continue to fight the good fight, and hold tightly to the belief that light will prevail over darkness – even when the lights go out!

God bless you,

Mandy Goble


in house psychologist

Hard work and determination the key to Ntombenhle’s success

in house psychologist

Our Child Care Manager, Ntombenhle Mkhwanazi has a BA (HSSS) in Psychological Counselling. Obtaining her qualification was a journey that lasted 14 years. And every one of those years required commitment, dedication, patience, determination and flexibility.

It all started when one of Ntombenhle’s colleagues who was studying at UNISA asked her to go with her when she went to register.

“When we got there, I saw 50 year old grandmothers on campus,” says Ntombenhle. “I asked my friend what they were doing there and she told me that they were also students. It was so amazing; I could not believe my eyes. I felt encouraged and filled with the possibility that it might not be too late for me to get a university degree.

Financial struggle

“But finances were a problem. I am a single parent with three children; how would my salary stretch to cover their needs and mine, as well as university fees? That was the worst, highest mountain to climb. I told myself, ‘God will be with me – I am doing this’.

“I chatted with my manager explaining my challenges. Her advice was to go and speak to our director, Mandy Goble. I was afraid, as I was employed as a child and youth care worker. But I had this belief that Child and Youth Care Centres should have a psychologist on the team. There would be less queuing at the hospital, or waiting months for an appointment.

“So I went to speak to Mandy. After sharing my struggle with her, she told me, ‘Ntombenhle, if you want to study we will support you.’ And, ‘Once you have completed your qualification, we will be the first Child and Youth Care Centre with an in-house Psychologist.’ I never lost sight of those words.

Study Loan

“Mandy told me that a study loan was available. The organisation would loan me the money and I could pay back what I could afford monthly. There was no time limit in terms of repaying the loan. But I was careful about borrowing money from the organisation. Sometimes I would feel like it’s too much, and I would take a gap year while I saved up. I needed to pay back one loan before taking another.

“It was worse when my children started high school. I was totally drained. I would ask for the loan at the beginning of the year, hoping I would be able to cover the rest with my salary, even though I was struggling. I didn’t receive results like the other students at the end of the year; I would get them at the beginning of the following year, after I had paid the outstanding amount, including registration, with the next year’s loan.

“Being employed full time made it harder to study. I would come back from work and feel that my body needs to rest. Later, I would sit studying from 10 pm til midnight. Or I would be sitting doing my work early in the morning from 3-5 am. I would then rest a bit and be up by 6 am, getting ready for work. When it was time for exams, Mandy would authorize study leave. That is how I achieved my goal, and it is like I am dreaming. I don’t even believe it myself that today I have completed my BA(HSSS) degree in Psychological Counselling.

Make hard work your friend

“What I can say is that you have to make hard work your friend not your enemy. And you can’t be a winner if you are afraid to fail. I failed so many times, but I never gave up.

“This is not the end of my journey. This year, I am continuing with my studies through DUT, registered as a Postgraduate in Health Science. Soon I will have Masters in Child and Youth Care Work.

“I humbly express my appreciation to Mandy Goble and the Board of Management for believing in me and walking with me on this journey. They have been my pillar of strength. Without their support, I was not going to reach where I am today. I am who I am because of them. Thank you.”

Dis-Chem Shopping Voucher

Dis-Chem dash … every month!

Dis-Chem Shopping Voucher

How amazing is it to be gifted with a R3 000 Dis-Chem shopping allowance every month?

Thanks to the Dis-Chem Foundation’s generous donation, we can start off every month with a supply of basic medicines (headache tablets, plasters, Dettol, ointment, etc) and purchase cleaning products or toiletries when donations are low.

Thank you Dis-Chem! We value and appreciate your amazing support of the children and youth in our care.




New flooring funded by Ironman 4 the kids

Floored by your generosity, Ironman 4 the kids

New flooring funded by Ironman 4 the kids

Like all our buildings, the hall at Durban Child & Youth Care Centre is old. And the years have taken their toll. At the beginning of 2022, we were fortunate to receive funding from two donors, which allowed us to repair the roof and fix up the ablutions. But the state of the flooring literally had us ‘floored’.

Broken and worn tiles were becoming a tripping hazard, as well as unhygienic. But we couldn’t stop using it, because the hall is the heart of our Home. It’s a central meeting point for the children from all the units … a place where they can get together for educational, developmental and recreational programmes, as well as various activities and events. Staff, too, use the hall on a regular basis for team meetings and training.

We are thankful to Ironman 4 the Kidz for coming to our aid and donating the funds needed to renovate the hall flooring. There was even enough left over to renovate the showers at the Amaqhawe Care Centre. Talk about being showered with blessings! A huge shout out to Ironman 4 Kidz for their wonderful generosity and caring.


Time in the garden is food for the soul

Thanks to the Matthew 25 Company, in partnership with KL Nursery, our children enjoyed a fun and educational morning learning about plants and gardening.

Special thanks to all involved for donating their time and resources to ensure that this project was a success. Our children had an incredible time and our garden looks amazing!

Premie Pillay

Farewell to Premie Pillay

Premie Pillay

On 31 January 2023, we bid farewell to a special and remarkable woman, known to our children as Aunty Premie. After almost 20 years of service as one of our residential social workers, Premie Pillay is starting a new chapter in her life.

When we asked her what were some of her best moments at DCYCC, she said there were far too many to remember. “But what stands out the most is when we found a family of children who had been abandoned, and were able to reunite them. That was undoubtedly the best feeling ever! Children belong with their family and should never be in a child and youth care centre for long unless they absolutely need to”.

Premie went on to say that she will miss the laughter, the energetic singing during our team activities and the amazing resilience of the DCYCC team . Above all, “I will dearly miss all the little ones who so generously offer their unconditional love to me. I will miss all the precious children!”

My advice to present and future children that come to DCYCC is that, “All children can heal from their past trauma. We all have the inner strength and capacity to improve our future. We just need to believe and trust that we can achieve anything if we really want to.”

Premie was an exceptional social worker, who did a splendid job helping our little ones heal and become stronger.

Premie, you will be sorely missed. Thank you for you all the years of service excellence to our organisation. We’re sad to see you go, but we know that now is the time for you to blossom in something new. On behalf of the board of management, children and staff, we want to wish you all the very best in your new venture!